A statue of Sir John A. Macdonald was wrapped in foam and strapped to a flat-bed truck on Saturday morning to be placed in storage. Victoria city council voted to remove the statue as a gesture of reconciliation last week. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

Statue of Canada’s first prime minister is removed in Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, may be the most traditional of all Canadian cities, at least of those birthed when what was once called the British Empire ruled much of the world.

People still take tea at the majestic Empress Hotel while pondering the lush grounds.

People who were against the statue’s removal gathered outside city hall, draped in flags and singing the national anthem, to protest as the monument came down. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

Others–and there are retirees galore–take their walks at a leisurely pace amidst the city’s Victorian architecture and botanical gardens, strolling year-round on streets that mercifully lack snow and ice–a Canadian’s dream come true.

But, as a noted songwriter once noted,  “the times are a-changin.”

Take, for example the statue in front of Victoria city hall of one of Canada’s so-called “Fathers of Confederation” and the country’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, a man whose likeness still sits on our ten-dollar bill.

The statue? Gone. As of Saturday,

The statue as it once stood in front of Victoria City Hall. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

City councillors voted last week to remove it because of Macdonald’s role in the creation of residential schools, which Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission called “cultural genocide.”

The vote and statue removal was expected to caused much controversy.

By Victoria standards, one could, perhaps, say it did.

There was some talk of “historical vandalism” and “political correctness,” but in the end only about 100 people–on both sides of the issue–took to the streets Saturday.

No doubt lots of op-ed columns will be written, but off the 37-year-old statue went, riding the back of a flat-bed truck, sitting on a wooded palette and covered with foam.

It will remain in storage until a committee decides what to do with it.

Categories: Indigenous, International, Politics, Society
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